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DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkish air force jets and attack helicopters pounded Kurdish militants along the border with Iraq on Thursday, killing 13, the local governor's office and security sources said on Friday.
The attack was launched after a drone identified a group of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants on the second day of operations in Turkey's southeastern province of Hakkari, bordering Iraq and Iran, the Hakkari governor's office said.
Ankara has linked the increased violence to the chaos in neighboring Syria, accusing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of resuming support for the PKK and arming the militants.
More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict between Turkey and the PKK, which launched its insurgency in 1984 with the aim of carving out a separate state in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey.
Turkey's Kurdish rebels will retaliate to any Turkish attacks on Kurds in war-torn Syria, the second in command of the outlawed PKK said in an interview published Wednesday.
"Turkey should stay out of this conflict and stop its scheming," Murat Karayilan, who heads the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the absence of its jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan, told Swiss daily Le Temps.